Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Penn's crushing loss could have significant repercussions in the Ivy chase

Penn and Princeton added to their long line of memorable basketball games with another classic on Tuesday night.

The Quakers forced overtime on the road despite never taking the lead, coming back from 13 points down with seven minutes remaining and five down with 11 ticks left. Miles Cartwright hit a three to cut the lead to 55-53, and after Princeton's Douglas Davis made 1-2 from the free throw line, Tyler Bernardini hit a game-tying three with 3.6 seconds left to send the game into an extra frame.

Penn took their first lead of the game on a Cartwright free throw with 2:48 left, and after a bucket from Fran Dougherty 43 seconds later, the Quakers held a 59-56 lead. Ian Hummer got Princeton on the board in the overtime with a tip-in with 46 seconds remaining to cut the lead to one, but on the ensuing possession, Penn's Jack Eggleston called a timeout trying to corral a loose ball.

Penn had no timeouts remaining.

Princeton made 1-2 free throws to tie the game, but stole the Quaker's ensuing inbounds pass. Cartwright fouled Hummer, who hit both free throws, and after a Penn miss and a free throw from Dan Mavraides, Zach Rosen's prayer bounced off the back board, and the Tigers escaped with a 62-59 win.

This result had much more significance than the simple Chris Webber reference.

With the win, the Tigers remain undefeated in conference play, maintaining their one game lead in the loss column on Harvard, a team that the Tigers beat on Friday. Penn falls two games off the pace, which is even more significant in the Ivy League since they don't have a conference tournament.

To make matters worse for the Quakers, they lost a heartbreaker to Harvard at home in double overtime on Saturday. Penn is just two possessions from being undefeated and in sole possession of first place in the conference.

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